Aria is one of Crowley’s inner circle and, as the war between Lea Monde and the three great factions begins, the general of his army.
Aria is a super soldier with all the physical capability that a soldier from the future, completely honed in on training and discipline, is able to achieve. Even Adam, the best of the best that the EDF military has to offer, is completely outmatched by Aria when they first meet.
Despite the sheer deadliness of Aria’s career, personality-wise, off the battlefield, she’s a kind and loving person with a natural caretaker and protection instinct. Her rest time is usually spent camping, taking care of pets and building things for others.
Aria was born as a slave in the Centauri colonies, producing ore and lumber for the mercantilist government of the Centauri system. Determined to liberate the colonies, she trained to become a warrior, though there was little sentiment among the other laborers that liberation was possible.
When River Crowley appeared and blockaded the colonies and broke the slavers’ spirits through attrition, he created the opening Aria had been hoping for her entire life, and she was able to partner with Crowley to lead a campaign that eliminated slave mining in the Centauri system forever.
Since then she’s been a central figure in Lea Monde, loyal and popular among its members.
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Aria is the leader of one of the four main houses of Lea Monde: The Lightworkers. The Lightworkers are focused on charity, humanitarian efforts, tactical training, team building and defense readiness.
Lightworkers can often be spotted around Crowley’s compound on Djevica 9 with clipboards, trying to recruit people to volunteer for various causes and charities. They organize camping trips and team building exercises.
They are also an organized professional peacekeeping military.
Aria, more than anyone else, has just an outright pile of influences. The biggest one is Morgiana from Magi. It turned out she has a lot of similarities to General Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist, although I didn’t realize that until later, when Aria was already pretty much fully fleshed out. In the same vein, she has a lot of similarity to Kisara from Tales of Arise.
When I was conceptualizing her, it was Morgiana. Leona from King of Fighters. Tifa. Wonder Woman. Android 18. Supergirl was a big one, especially Supergirl from the animated movie where she partners up with Brainiac, that’s very Aria/Crowley. Lagertha from Vikings, just the general idea of a Viking shieldmaiden. Female Barbarians from Diablo. A ton of female MMA fighters. Power Girl. Atalanta from the old TV show Hercules. American Gladiators, another show I watched as a kid. Lori Fetrick, who used to be on American Gladiators, is very Aria. Probably the closest real life reference point I can think of.
After I was already pretty much done with the book, Street Fighter 6 came out with Marisa, and Marisa is way bulkier than Aria, but fights a similar way to how I imagined Aria would fight — just this straight forward heavy hitting brutality like getting punched by a semi-truck.
As for her personality, it’s a little more complicated because the lieutenants in Lea Monde, and Crowley himself, all kind of work together in terms of compatibility. And so you have Crowley and Salem, these two calculating, manipulative genius types, though in different ways, and it’s a little bit like forming an RPG party, they needed a warrior.
And then personality-wise in terms of this ‘family’ they have — and that is how they refer to themselves in the book, as a family — they needed someone who is caring and motherly and outwardly loving and kind with, y’know, very little ulterior motives or grand schemes or agendas, someone who kind of expands on their dynamic and fills a niche as a role model for the organization that Crowley and Salem don’t provide themselves.