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
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
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.