Not because of anything especially cool about them, or because of anything they did for me, so much as because I happened to meet them while in story-planning mode, two of the Grease techies have incorporateds themselves into my stories: Ariel and Matt.
I was talking to Ariel today, while doing intensive mental planning for COM, and I decided she should be one of the Red Wytches. It just sort of popped into my head, and she was perfect, so now she is. Her name is still Ariel, but I may spell it differently.
While I was watching Matt work, an idea occured to me that I can incorporate into the dragon story. Matt is not so much the template for one character, as for an entire race of Golems.
More people in COM are loosely based on real people then in any other story I've attempted. Zach Dzuba as an eccentric druid and Evan Boggs as an elven Rune Specialist are two more who have weaseled their way in. I think anyone with a strong. distinctive personality is a candidate.