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Sandra Whittle Arminger was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Very little about her pre-Change life has been revealed - she apparently undertook some duties as the wife of a tenured professor (such as hosting events), and this and her society functions may have been her main concern. The day after the Change, she and her husband met with Conrad Renfrew and decided to seize power in Portland with a cabal formed of former Society members and gang leaders called the Portland Protective Association.
Sandra trained as a veterinarian. She specialized in genetics and had a business advising people on sheep, horses, cattle, dogs and cats, mostly, though sometimes she'd do some rabbit and chicken genetics. Steve has accepted this as canon. Conrad was sent by her to get all the horses and sheep and cattle he could three days after the change. That's why he doesn't appear until later.
It is implied that she and her husband had an open marriage even before the Change—certainly afterward she did not object to his sexual encounters with other women—but she is never shown in a romantic relationship with anyone but Norman, and she was the only woman for whom he had romantic feelings. The couple ruled together; although Norman was the nominal ruler, it is clear that Sandra weilds great power of influence over him and in her own right. After Norman's death in combat, Sandra became regent for their daughter Mathilda until Mathilda's twenty-sixth birthday, and functioned as the unofficial Chancellor for the Portland Protective Association for many years, likely until her death.
- Tiphaine Rutherton
- Katrina Georges
- Sir Joris Stein
Sandra stands by Norman's side throughout the founding of the Portland Protective Association. When Mike Havel scouts Portland in April of Change Year 0, he meets both the Protector and Consort, and is impressed by their intelligence, competence, and ruthlessness. He notes even at this early date that Sandra is likely more dangerous than her husband, as she does not have his weaknesses. Sandra conceives and gives birth to Mathilda Arminger, her and her husband's only child and heir. The pregnancy is difficult, likely due to an STD Norman contracted in his various sexual escapades and gave to his wife.
Sandra advises Norman throughout the preparations and preliminaries of the War of the Eye. She is instrumental in designing and leading many of the diplomatic and espionage-related tactics of the PPA. She sends one of her household, the former gymnast and Girl Scout Katrina Georges with a team led by her husband's liegeman Eddie Liu in an attempt to rescue her daughter from the Mackenzies.
In CY9, Sandra travels to Corvallis with a small entourage, including Tiphaine d'Ath, for a political conference there. She meets with Astrid Loring-Larsson and other members of the Dunedain Rangers, masterminds a covert operation to gain political favor in Corvallis, and skillfully plays a 'bad hand' at the political conference to prevent or delay a mutual defense treaty from being signed among the non-Association attendants. After the PPA's first attempt to conquer the Valley fail, Sandra sends several men-at-arms of her household, led by Tiphaine d'Ath to attempt a second armed rescue of her daughter. The team is successful, and also manages to kidnap a nine-year old Rudi Mackenzie. After the team's arrival at Castle Todenangst, she knights Tiphaine in reward, and prevents her husband from harming Rudi: by publicly proclaiming that he will not be mistreated, by advising her husband that he is more valuable as apolitical pawn, and finally by sending her daughter and Rudi with Tiphaine to Ath. Sandra accompanies her husband to the Field of Gold, the final battleground of the War of the Eye. She advises him to kill ambassador Eric Larsson, guessing that he brings a challenge from the Bear Lord, but, Norman disregards her advice, which leads to his death. On September 5, CY10, the recently-widowed Sandra Arminger, acting as Regent of the PPA, agrees to terms for a lasting peace with Juniper Mackenzie, ending the War of the Eye and creating a new political entity, the Lands of the Corvallis Meeting
Sandra is furious when Mathilda chooses to join the Quest and terrified that she may be killed. She explains to Juniper that Mathilda's success is the purpose of her life's work.
Sandra reflects upon her atheist beliefs, in light of new evidence of supernatural activity. She receives a letter from Mathilda revealing that Mathilda has sworn allegiance to Artos as High King of a new political entity, Montival, and works to support her, as it will mean her [and Norman's] grandchild will one day rule over all of the Pacific Northwest; a goal she and Norman had worked for since the Day of the Change.
Sandra cries for joy when Mathilda and Artos return home and announce their betrothal.
- Lord of Mountains, Chapter 16