The last of our core group of heroes is the healer, Sonsara.
She was actually a possibility in the early stages of the idea, given Iriphos’ disability. It seemed logical that he’d want a healer close by as he traveled. The way the story worked out, though, she didn’t join the group till towards the end of the first book (though not the story, as I have sequels planned).
I decided early on to follow the division of magic that is followed in a lot of fantasy books; arcane spellcasters cannot heal, but divine ones can. Thus Sonsara became a Chanter, a member of the Temple. I also decided to make her a woman because I’ve personally always preferred female doctors (though I’ve had quite good male doctors in the past, and I’ve known some female ones that I really didn’t like).
Her being a Chanter also allows me to inject a bit of religion into the story, specifically into the interactions between Nyaphie and Roncen. As mentioned before, she really doesn’t trust the thief and doesn’t seem to have forgiven him for conning her family. Sonsara becomes the voice of reason, counseling Nyaphie to forgive and try to trust Roncen again.
With Sonsara in the party, the group now has members of all three legs of the kingdom’s society: the Crown (Nyaphie), the Guild (Iriphos), and the Temple (Sonsara). This helps them overcome a few difficulties by sheer weight of officialdom.
Of course, her main duties are keeping everyone healthy, and she can be a bit of a mother hen in that role. She’s also a bit of a pacifist, seeking non-violent means of solving problems rather than fighting. Given what a healer sees after fights, it’s easy to understand where she got that attitude. However, she also understands that sometimes fighting and killing is the only way to solve a problem that simply must be solved, and she can also use her magic to defend herself and her friends if needed.
All told, I think (in all humility) that I’ve got a nicely balanced group here, even if it wasn’t planned that way in the beginning. Tomorrow we conclude this series with a look at the villain.