ER:Layla Sorensen

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Layla Sorensen, alias Layla Samuels or Andrea Samuels, is a character in the Errant Road free-form on-line role-playing game, played by Graybeard. Like all Errant Road player characters, she doesn't exist in the Poe-verse. Her basic concept can be found in this thread on the Forum.

History

In the Errant Road-verse, Layla is a Gewehr Wraith. She's the illegitimate daughter of Faye, a personage of some significance in the Gewehr, and "Mr. Gabriel," a really big shot in the Gewehr who made a cameo appearance from his regular role (as simply Gabriel) in Errant Story itself, and who won't be seen again in Errant Road. When first encountered, she's married to fellow Wraith Arty Samuels and living in Kiyoka. She's on what amounts to maternity leave from the Gewehr "wet work" following the birth of her son Zachary, who's about six to seven months old at story time. While she no longer goes out on field operations, she's actually still the big boss of the Gewehr operation in Kiyoka due to her considerable administrative and strategic skills, which also help her in her "cover" operation as proprietress of Rising Moon Vineyards. Rising Moon is the home base for the Gewehr in Kiyoka, so she's able to combine her various duties while staying home and being mommy to Zachary. "Andrea Samuels" is the alias that she uses for Rising Moon business.

At least that's the way things were supposed to go. However, very early in the story/game, Arty was killed in a skirmish at the Kiyokan docks (involving player characters Grope, Jamie Porter, Lucas Ravanel and others), leaving Layla the bereaved single mother of Zachary, and also without a Gewehr operation to be in charge of -- practically all other Gewehr members in town (except one Oskar Tenrael) also having been killed in that skirmish or earlier. As a result, the Gewehr decided to pull the plug on the Kiyoka operation (which was struggling due to shortage of "business" even before the carnage) and bring her and Zachary back to Kugelheim, where she grew up. While there she rebounded from the death of her mate with remarkable speed, having all manner of adventures with other player characters and starting to become involved with the similarly bereaved airship pilot Ace, on whom she'd had an adolescent crush in years gone by.

According to Gewehr magic guru Plato, Layla has unrecognized, untapped magical talent. This is probably not all that uncommon among people from Farrel, and it offers her intriguing career opportunities that are still under construction. She's recently moved to Rinkaiel to further her magical education, opening a vineyard there (which is attracting all manner of curious characters) and starting to study at a laboratory in Tsuiraku-town, first under the mysteriously deceased Dasuke Kinabalu and then under his successor, lifemage Madori. (The body count in this venue has been impressive, but remarkably enough, Layla hasn't been responsible for any of them, at least not directly.) Unexpectedly, her friend Galina takes the sifu role over from Madori, a relationship that pleases both women greatly, and has not led to any additional bloodshed -- yet.

Relationships to other characters

Layla's direct interactions with other player characters were minimal to start out with, but have been increasing. Prior to the move to Rinkaiel, her most extensive PC interactions were with Kureji Mesuinu (whom she knows as "Karzhee," the closest she can come to pronouncing Kureji's name), as the result of a misunderstanding at Rising Moon Vineyards, when Layla thought Kureji was part of the crew sent by Faye to demolish the place, while Kureji thought Layla was a player in a "murder mystery" social evening. (Semi-PCs Rokku Sona and Locke were also on site, and Locke re-entered Layla's life considerably later in the story, in Kugelheim.) She had a brief encounter with Argus Cleiviein at the Veracian mission as she was on the way out of Kiyoka, but the two characters don't know each other. She has interacted briefly with Jamie Porter and Marcus at a pass north of Kugelheim, generally with fairly cordial feelings -- but without the participants knowing each other, and in particular, without Layla knowing Jamie's role in Arty's death. It's reasonable to suspect that if she'd known who she was talking to at the time, the encounter would have played out ... differently ... On another outing, she saw Grope at a distance, but they haven't met.

As more or less proprietress of Bad Ass Wines, she's starting to interact with the cast of curious (player) characters who've washed ashore in Rinkaiel. She's again dealing with Jamie and her mother (and adopted daughter Nera), still without knowing Jamie's role in her widowhood. She has a certain sympathy for Jamie as a fellow single mom, although she's puzzled by the Porters' clear affinity for chaos. She's formed a decent, if still tentative, working relationship with Rhett, whom she discovered at the magical mugging where he was introduced. She's mystified by blind lifemage Maya, and similarly by semi-priest Kalin, who was more or less taking care of things at the vineyard when she took it over from previous occupants Vikor and Sarya.

Layla's "cover" in Kiyoka was good, and she's generally on friendly terms with the NPCs she encountered there, for example the enigmatic Father Egbert, who purchased much of the mission's sacramental wine from Rising Moon. She's also on good terms with Keyes, and slightly less good, but still cordial, terms with Keyes' employer, the sinister Mr. Stagpoole. However, she doesn't fully trust Mr. Stagpoole (with good reason) and prefers not to use his clandestine "shipping service" when it comes time for her to bolt to Farrel.

Her relationships within the Gewehr are murkier. She's on warm terms with her mother Faye, having long outgrown the usual mother-daughter tensions from adolescence. Most other named Gewehr NPCs (including the functionaries in Rinkaiel) also appreciate her as the skilled Wraith and administrator that she is, and she's showing signs of getting close to the recently-widowed airship pilot Ace. However, there is a faction within the Gewehr that resents her rapid rise through the ranks, even to the point that someone tried to booby-trap an explosive device that she was going to be using on a gig so that it would kill her (and Ace) when used. This didn't work, and the "someone" in question is showing signs of moving rapidly into the Living Impaired category, albeit offstage.

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