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The Turquoise Tree

Meredeth

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Meredeth

 

Meredeth Lorkalsdottir was a Vingan of the Blue Jay clan of the Dundealos tribe. Her family were hunters and lived at Coldwater Stead, a small steading in a secluded valley near Ezzjuzz Mountain. She spent much of her childhood on and around the mountain, and became friends with some of the wind children of Ezzjuzz.

As she grew up, Meredeth learnt many of the skills of her parents (mainly through observation), and delighted in climbing, and swimming in the many pools near her home. Everyone expected her to become a follower of Vinga Pathfinder or an Odalyan, but she chose the Defender Storm instead.

After her initiation Meredeth served the clan for several years, serving as part of the fyrd. She used this time to learn the lands of the Dundealos intimately, and became acquainted with several local spirits. She was restless however, and soon chose to leave the clan for a while. She travelled, worked as a mercenary, and acquired much Vingan lore and considerable skill at fighting. After five years she returned to the Blue Jays, newly qualified as a Daughter of Vinga.

She spent several years serving as assistant to the clans Loyal Daughter during which time she spent much time on Ezzjuzz and in the valleys around it. When her father died she moved back to Coldwater and eventually built a small shrine to Vinga there. She loved to swim in the ice-cold pools of the valleys and in the winter streams, becoming renowned for her fortitude.

The spirits and wind children of the mountain came to know and love her, and she them. They taught Meredeth much ancient lore and she became so noted for her skill at the Defence Day rituals that she was soon selected to lead them (by the clans Loyal Daughter!).

The wind children selected Meredeth as an intermediary between them and the Blue Jays; she negotiated hunting agreements on the mountains lower slopes for the Blue Jay hunters, arranged trade between the two peoples, and carried out many tasks that led to a strong friendship between the Blue Jay clan and the wind children. She and some of the wind children heroquested together, and from that time on, the Blue Jays were always assisted in their Defence Day rituals by the wind children (this ended with the destruction of the Dundealos in 1618, most of the Blue Jay clan died or were enslaved.

Meredeth raised a warband to protect Ezzjuzz and its wind children, the Coldwater Sisters. Vingans from several clans of the Dundealos, as well as a few of the neighbouring tribes, came to the stead to join her. Never a large group however, they were based at Coldwater Stead and quickly earned a name for themselves as devoted defenders of the mountain. After Meredeth died, they continued her work, and the Blue Jay clan became famous among the Dundealos for the piety and skill of its Defender Storm priestesses. 

 The shrine at Coldwater Stead was dedicated to Meredith’s memory, and the Coldwater Sisters made regular sacrifices to her. Several wind children, beginning a tradition that has continued to this day, joined her cult.

When the Dundealos rebelled in 1618, they were brutally crushed; their steads were destroyed, the clanspeople enslaved, exiled, or executed, and the holy places of the tribe defiled. Most of the Coldwater Sisters died in the fighting, only one priestess survived (Ingarrd Silver-kennings). Coldwater Stead was the only Dundealos shrine to survive the destruction, saved oddly enough, by the intervention of a Fire cultist.

Vega Goldbreath, a priestess of Yelmalio (yes, you did read that correctly, a priestess of Yelmalio), knew Ingarrd from her days as an adventurer in Pavis County. She and some of her men were returning from Sun County, and she had decided to visit her old friend on the way. They arrived towards the end of the rebellion and found the area in devastation, with Lunar patrols hunting down the last of the Dundealos, and harassing all travellers.

Vega’s status ensured that the group was not bothered too much and they reached Coldwater Stead with little incident. and went directly to the shrine. The Lunars had not yet reached that part of the Blue Jay tula, and more than four-hands of frightened refugees had gathered at the stead, seeking refuge.

Ingarrd and Vega spent several hours discussing the Lunar threat and the fate of the shrine. Inspired by her time with Kallyr Starbrow, Vega came up with a cunning plan. When the Lunars finally arrived, she simply claimed that the valley belonged to her, and was farmed for her by a tenant  (cue the approach of a suitably ‘rusticated’ Templar, chewing some straw). 

Vega got lucky; the patrol’s officer was obviously sickened by the slaughter of the Dundealos, and quickly accepted her words as truth. He even went so far as to hand over some women prisoners that the patrol had taken, saying to her that he hadn’t realised that “these women were your thralls”. The Templars stayed for almost three weeks, during which time some eighty refugees gathered at the stead.

After escorting the refugees to the comparative safety of Pavis County, Vega arranged her ‘ownership’ of Coldwater Stead officially and arranged for a young family from Harpoon to take over the stead. Her choice, Archilochos the Pragmatic, is a good man; he and his large family have earned the love and respect of the Vingans at the shrine

Her work enabled the shrine to survive, although comparatively few Vingans worshipped there for several years, mostly new members of the Coldwater Sisters. They pose as farmworkers, protect the stead and farm, and patrol Ezzjuzz Mountain. Recently they have extended their remit to include patrolling what was the Blue Jay tula, and the area is now left alone by the Enstalos. There is some talk of establihing a new clan, but such things are some way off yet. Ingarrd is still the shrine priestess, but is getting on, and seeks a replacement.

Coldwater stead has become busier of late, Bjarnni Steadburner’s rebels have begun to attend rituals, and several of ‘his’ Vingans have joined the Coldwater Sisters. His cousin Karasyn, a Bevaran healer has taken up residence at Coldwater, and the stead is becoming increasingly involved in the Rebellion.

Cult Membership

 

 

Vingans who wish to join Meredeth’s cult can do so at Coldwater Stead shrine. They must convince Ingarrd of their sincerity and dedication to the values of the Coldwater Sisters, be an initiate or priestess in good standing, and sacrifice 1 POW at the shrine.

All Coldwater Sisters receive free accommodation at the stead, and can learn spirit magic and sacrifice for the Iceswim spell at the shrine.

They must spend 10% of their time working for the cult, and tithe 10% of their income.

 Any member is welcome to live at Coldwater, but is expected to help on the farm (Archilochos says that watching most Vingans ‘help’ on the farm is the best fun he’s ever had), and spend  time assisting Ingarrd.

 

 

 

Spells

 

 

Iceswim

 

Divine, 1 point, touch, stackable, temporal.                                               

Defender Storm (Meredeth).                                                                          

Only at Coldwater Stead, shrine near the base of Ezzjuzz Mountain.

 

This spell last 15 minutes per point, and may not be stacked with Extension. It allows the target to swim in any temperature of cold water without suffering adverse effects. Breathing and activity remain at normal levels, and there is no danger of hypothermia. (RQ)

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