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Calliope Strachan

Contributed by Mike McDermott

Calliope Strachan is a young spellcaster who was in a Wiccan coven guided by Willow Rosenberg. Although there is an attraction between her and Willow, Calliope has a girlfriend, Linda Martin, whom she lives with.

After a supernatural attack on San Francisco stirred up violent anti-magic feelings in the U.S, Calliope and Linda’s apartment was attacked and set on fire by protesters. Trapped between staying inside the burning building or fleeing outside to face the violent mob, they were saved when Willow arrived and used her magic to put out the flames and drive the protesters away.

Although Calliope’s magical power is modest it was still enough to require her to move into the supernatural internment camps, or “Safe Zones”, as called by the U.S. government when they began rounding up all vampires, demons and humans with magical abilities.

Willow taught Calliope a spell to conjure fire, in order to protect herself inside the so-called “Safe Zone” with so many different demons and creatures crammed together in close quarters. During her time in the camps Calliope’s attitudes started to grow more militant, and she was going to take part in a planned uprising on the part of the inmates. Buffy and Willow convinced her that it was a suicide run, so she changed her mind and gave them the details so that Buffy could stop it before anyone was hurt.

Living together in close quarters in constant danger, Calliope found her feelings for Willow changing and things began to take a romantic turn between them. Willow reminded Calliope that she still had a girlfriend waiting for her on the outside, but Calliope told her that she intended to break up with Linda. Willow convinced her to wait until after she returned to the outside world, pointing out that her feelings might be clouded by living inside the camps.

Willow revealed that she did have the ability to get Calliope and other vulnerable Wiccans out of the camps–by draining their magic away so that they could no longer cast spells. Willow had held back that option for a while, uncertain if she was delaying because of her moral religious objections to taking away magic from people, or because she was enjoying the new closeness between herself and Calliope and didn’t want to give it up. Calliope objected to the idea, not wanting to lose her spiritual connection to the natural world, but Willow convinced her that it was necessary and that she had a plan so Calliope reluctantly submitted to the procedure.

Calliope said a tearful goodbye to Willow when she was released from the camps, and returned home to Linda. Calliope quickly settled back in to her regular life, and when she and Willow crossed paths again outside a few days later, both women noted how it was like two different worlds. The two of them had a bittersweet parting, remembering what they almost had.

Calliope first appeared in Buffy Season 11 #1 (2016) by Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs.

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July 2, 2021
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