Sapphire Bennett
Real Name: Sapphire Amalia Bennett
Age: 14
Identity: Secret
Birthplace: Greenwood, IN
Date of Birth: February 13, 1996
Known Relatives: Mother, father, six siblings – five male, one female, including Anton (18)
Height: 5'1"
Weight: None of your beeswax
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Grade: Freshman
Dorm: Jones


So there are a lot of people involved in me, but to really understand who that is, you have to go back to the original Sapphire Bennett. No, I’m not saying I’m a clone or anything. That would be weird.

My father comes from Sheffield, England, originally – his mother was German. He’s a successful businessman in petro-chemicals – ooh, the irony, I know. Am I worried I’m going to have to kick my father’s butt some day with righteous ecological fury? Not so much.

Anyhow, he crosses the pond on a business trip – the big pond, not the duck pond – and meets my mother, a fifth-generation Japanese-American. They fall head over heels in love, he transfers overseas to marry her, and they settle down to produce a bunch of adorable multi-cultural babies. I'm seventh in the litter … which will turn out to be prophetic, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

You know, I can literally be ahead of myself?

No, stick to the story, Safi.

For the record, my older siblings aren't Jet, Topaz and Molduvite. (Imagine being nicknamed Moldy all your life.) I think they just got tired of naming kids by the time I came around and stuck a pin in the dictionary. Which means I could be Procrastination Bennett.

Wait. I *am* Procrastination Bennett.

So I grow up in this madcap zoo of a house (also prophetic - knock it off, Safi) with five rowdy older brothers and a single sister almost old enough to be my mother. Except she's not my mother or even the same age, because my mom is old enough to have had her … oh, you know what I mean. Anyhow, totally normal, except for having no privacy and learning to scrap and generally play like a boy at a young age. You'd think at least I'd have more time in the bathroom, but there's Anton - and he even made off with my first tube of lipstick.

I loved the outdoors, though: horseback riding, hiking, swimming, anything that got me out in the open air. Not so much to escape, though I guess it started there … just because I enjoyed the freedom, the openness, losing myself to instinct. I thought maybe I'd become a veterinarian.

Then I found this ad in a pagan publication Anton toted around and thought that druid sounded pretty cool, too.

The ad promised a homestudy shapeshifting course. It started small: charms and chants that could give you the balance of a cat or the eyes of an eagle for an hour or so. That I think of it, I don’t know that the chants were even real so much as trigger phrases for the charms.

The end of the course – the moment when the student would finally be able to turn into an animal – was face to face at a retreat over the New Year. So I lied to my parents for probably the first time ever, swore up and down that it was a swimming camp.

I wasn’t the only one there, of course, but I was surprised when there were only six others. (See? I told you my being the youngest of seven would come back.) Later, we figured out that the creator of the ad must have ensorcelled it so that only people with the right potential would notice it.

The other six were:

Celestine De Mornay (The Queen Bee): Hot, hip, and lethal. Her scorn and subtle sabotage could bring generals to their knees. The only daughter of a rich divorcee. Like, mansions and champagne swimming pools rich.

Gertrude Fjarskafinn (The All-Purpose Geek): Bright, sloppy, and talented – both with computers and with musicial instruments, with a preference for flute, though she plays a decent guitar, too. Poor Gert got saddled with her grandmother’s name, for the record.

Adam Lyon (The Vulcan – okay, okay, my brothers like vintage Star Trek!): Quiet, dispassionate and scary-smart. He just … knows things. Except people. He really doesn’t have a clue about people.

Evander “Van” Carter (The Rebel): Sullen, insubordinate and sometimes, honestly, kind of nasty. He does have a number of small skills that a nice boy wouldn’t display.

Christian Panapoulus (The Gymnast): Driven, even-tempered and king of common sense. Don’t let anyone tell you gymnasts are girly – Christian could hand your head to you while supporting his entire weight on a bar from eighteen feet up. Assuming you were suspended in mid-air.

Aponi Three Trees (The Hippy Witch): Sweet, ditzy, wants to save the earth, believes in the power of Gaia, mother of us all. She’s the middle child of … five, I think? And despite her name, her parents are about as white as a bust of Venus de Milo. Homeschooled.*

Once we arrived, we met a man who called himself the High Priest. He taught us some invented code of honor – to protests that it was not internally consistent from Adam and that it hardly sounded properly pagan from Aponi – and performed a few larger spells … but transformation was restricted for the New Year’s Eve ritual.

But what the High Priest intended to do, rather than give us powers of transformation, was to form links to our life force so he could drain it whenever he chose – a renewable power source. Unwitting, we linked hands to begin the ritual. The High Priest warned us under no circumstances should we break the circle.

But one of the first charms we were given was to detect magic. It was a little gimmick, intended to do nothing more than “prove” that the other items were the real thing … but unlike the rest of us, Aponi had kept hers, and now saw our magical energies draining towards him.

Because we were linked, so did everyone. The High Priest chanted faster, intent on finishing the ritual even though the game was up … and he might have succeeded, because we all knew then that we were dealing with magic, real magic, and what would happen if we did break the circle?

Someone had to. I did.

Everything exploded.

A little bit of the ritual backlashed on the High Priest and blew him across the clearing. The rest backlashed onto Celestine, Gertrude, Adam, Van, Christian, Aponi and I –

Pant pant deep breath.

- and slammed us all into one body: mine.

We freaked out. And then we dissolved into squirrels, which freaked us out more.

Luckily, the explosion caused a big enough bang that the police were on the scene before the High Priest – his name was Jonathan Wylie, of all things – woke up. Even given the fact that neohumans were news since their fathers were babies, it took the authorities a long time to buy into what had happened.

Which was, besides the seven of us all being crammed into my brainpan, that we could shapeshift into a horde of animals, with each mind controlling one or a handful of critters, depending on the size. If you think that sounds confusing, you don’t know the half of it. Or the seventh of it.

My parents were really understanding of the whole thing, all things considered. They told the school I had mono and kept me out until mid-January and I could sort of get my heads on straight, at least to the point where I just seemed somewhat weird instead of totally off my rocker. The other families … Ms. De Mornay’s cool. Ditto the Three Trees and the Panapouluses. Panapoulii? The Carters don’t give a … crap. The Lyons and the Fjarskafinns treated it all like a cruel joke and have threatened restraining orders or bodily harm.

School is really tough when you’re getting seven different answers for every question, but I managed it. That is, until the day three disaffected kids with guns decided to hold the school hostage. The gang and I went in as a pit of snakes and tied them up.

After that furor, the Steranko Institute found us. They suggested I take a preview segment at the school and, if I liked it, test out of junior high and start early freshman classes over the summer. Anxious to get away, I readily agreed.

And now, for the first time in my life, I have a room all to myself! … and the … six other … people in my head …


(*) Player’s Note: This statement should not be taken in any way as an endorsement of "Homeschooled children are crazy."


Chipper, cheerful, perpetually sunny and prone to mile-a-minute chatter – wherein she often addresses herself, corrects herself, and has entire side monologues about whatever is buttering her bread that moment – Sapphire seems to be right up on the surface. She feels emotions in quick, intense bursts, often just as quick to fade. Intrinsically, she’s about as deceptive as a glass of water. When she’s thinking something, the nearest people tend to know about it. This is particularly unnerving when the trait expands to her inner passengers.

She wants dearly to do the right thing and be accepted, and criticism makes her miserable. She’s a very physical child, restless – she never holds still, and sometimes this manifests in random bursts of activity, even in classes. She tries hard to be girly, but often it comes off as just that – trying too hard.


  • Did I Say That?: Sapphire has a lot going on in her head and a very weak brain-mouth barrier. Having multiple personalities to contend with means she can often say something funny when she’s trying to be apologetic, something harsh when she’s trying to be diplomatic, or something nervous when she’s trying to be tough. She might even (with player’s approval) blurt out a bit of important information to a villain without quite meaning to do so.
  • The Great Outdoors: Sapphire’s new form is a delicate ecosystem, and what it needs most of all is fresh air. She can only go a few hours without a lungful of outside air before she starts to sicken – initial symptoms more like allergies than anything else, but growing steadily worse. After a few days of confinement, she would be shaky and debilitated. Even in winter, she’ll leave her dorm room window open.
  • Pull Yourself Together!: Sapphire has a tendency, in moments of extreme stress, to change involuntarily. Most of the time, she can get out of a room or at least around a corner such that she doesn’t blow her cover, but there’s usually not time to get out of a grocery store or mall. Once she’s exploded into the horde, she also tends to scatter, and it often takes a while to even find everyone, much less restore herself. Typically, it takes at least an hour before she can revert. Oddly, this rarely happens at the beginning of combats.


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