The Children of Valon
As a young woman of respectable but not wealthy family, Maergyth was promised to a fisherman who taught her many of the tricks of his trade, including throwing nets, a skill she uses to this day to provide the mainstay of her diet. The marriage, however did not occur, as a prettier (and wealthier) girl caught her sweetheart’s eye. She has remained single since, rebuffing what offers she received and choosing instead the independence a midwife’s life offers.
Her sister, on the other hand, made an excellent marriage with the scion of one of the most prominent families in Westgard. Unfortunately, he was not the prize catch everyone thought, as her sister confided when she went to Maergyth to have the first of many broken bones set. Maergyth confronted her brother-in-law, and he threatened her, getting physical when she didn’t back down. This established a mutual hatred that escalated to vicious rage on Maergyth’s part when her sister died in pregnancy from a hemorrhage resulting from a beating. Unfortunately for Maergyth, she is powerless to do anything to harm him, while he has taken every opportunity to undermine her and support her rival, the male “doctor” in Westgard.
In spite of his efforts, until recently she has been well respected in the community, and her healing arts have been sought after by practically all of the women and many of the men. Unfortunately, in the last six months, two women have miscarried under her care, a third had a still-born infant, and two more delivered babies with birth defects. With the fires fanned by her enemy and her rival physician, many of her patients have abandoned her, and words like “witchcraft” and “sorcery” are spoken more and more. Maergyth is becoming fearful and has taken to carrying a dagger with her at all times.
The other thing that is with Maergyth at all times is a small terrier, the “pick of the litter” given to her as payment after a successful delivery several years ago. The dog not only keeps her garden and storeroom free of vermin, it goes to all patient visits with her. She believes, and evidence seems to bear out, that the little dog is able to scent nascent infection and even indicate its location by nosing at the affected area.