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IMPORTANT FEMALE PERSONAGES

MAERA OLWAIN

Maera was born in the city of Aragond, 1455 IR, the daughter of a wealthy trade merchant (and , rumor was, a noblewoman in the Baron's court). As a child, she was delicate, quiet and uncommonly stubborn, and showed talent for music and loretelling.

At the urging of her father (and to lessen much of the familial tension at home) she went to Arandor at age 16 to attend the College of Bards. Receiving her silver harp at 20, and denied the opportunity to further her training as a member of the Fraternity of Heralds due to her gender, Maera traveled north in search of adventure. She visited Aragond again, then Westhaven, Beregond and Gondaran, plying her trade as a wandering bard. At Wintermmeet on Mid-Winter 1476, she met a group of folk from the Northern Marches, among them several Rangers, and decided to accompany them to Northinghall.

For the next six years, Maera lived in the North, accumulating a wide range of skills and experience - as a tavern girl at Roland's Den in Northinghall to a trailguard and merchant's representive at Hammerfall. In 1482, she joined a group of itinerant adventurers who were organizing a traditional adventuring company. As a member of the Company of the Green Gryphon, she traveled across Anglamar for three years, making a name for herself as a stalwart and canny adventurer and developing a romantic relationship with the young Ranger Sparrowhawk, at first, and then the tall, handsome, blonde-haired swordsman of noble birth who called himself Deren of Arandor (the specifics of that triangle are known to few, though it did involve at least one fistfight). Of course, it did not take Maera long to discern Deren's true identity as the missing Prince Thelgar of Anglamar.

As an adventurer, Maera proved herself resourceful - and temperamental. She learned both swordsmanship and archery from her companions, and her bardic education was useful on many occasions. She was also known for her fiery temper (matching her hair, according to Brund Stonereaver). In Westhaven, she started a brawl which culminated in the near-destruction of the Olde Gull and Anchor Tavern (Sparrowhawk swears to this day that it was Maera who goaded that mage into hurling a fireball that blew out one wall of the place). At Runestone Pass, while the group was escaping the lost dwarf-hold of Dergon's Deep, she stood with 'Hawk, Deren and Thars Bloodaxe against overwhelming numbers of orcs. Slaying many herself, Maera is remembered for snatching up the wounded Nordlander's battle axe in a rage and hacking off the head of a mountain troll (for that she was called Maera Trollslayer by Brund and Bloody Maera by Eldane).

In the Summer of 1486, Maera left the Company of the Green Gryphon (after a falling out with Thelgar, it's said), and she remained in Highsaddle when the others went south. Not long after, she married Harper Olwain, a widower several years her senior. Maera delivered a baby shortly before the end of the year, a blonde, blue-eyed boy who she named Deren.


Her Family

Maera has become something of a personage in the Northern Marches. In 1487 (3 years ago), Harper intervened against a troop of the Baron's soldiers pursuing an alleged thief in Northinghall. One of the men was killed and Harper was arrested and held in the dungeons of the Baron's keep. Upon hearing the news, Maera placed her children in the care of friends, took up her husband's studded leather armor, girded on her own sword, and rode for Northinghall. By the time she arrived, she had gathered an entourage of some 20 people, including 10 Rangers (with Faranor Half-elven). At Northinghall, the taverner Roland Longarm and Ulf the blacksmith (along with Ulf's troll) joined her and together they fought and disarmed the Baron's soldiers, penetrated the Keep, freed Harper and forced the Baron himself to flee south. By popular consent, Maera took over the running of the Keep and the reorganization of the Baron's forces while word was sent to the King. With the arrival of a temporary commander from Gondaran and a royal pardon for Harper and everyone involved in the uprising, Maera and Harper returned to Highsaddle.

Harper and Maera Olwain own a large steading, known as Olwain Hall to the locals, outside the town of Highsaddle. The lodge itself is a two-story timber dwelling, spacious and comfortable as a lesser noble's keep. There, they farm, raise horses and sheep and employ several hands. Harper has four children from his previous wife - twin teenage boys Terrel and Ander, a 10 year-old daughter and an older daughter, Kaet. Harper is a fine, honest, quiet man of 40 some Winters, a former Ranger partially lamed by an orcish spear several years ago. He loves Maera deeply and regards her son as his own. The fact that 4-year-old Deren is the illegitimate son of the King of Anglamar is not a subject of discussion in Highsaddle, and among those who know, it is a well-guarded secret. Friends of the Olwains seek to insulate them from the political forces and intrigues of the nobility, and they are quite protective. Anyone seeking to threaten the peaceful life of the Olwains in Highsaddle would quickly find themselves the focus of some intense opposition - from the Northern Rangers, the townsfolk, and one very battle-hardened and ill-tempered dwarf.

Some odd details - On the wall of the Harpers' main hall, above the great fireplace, are mounted three heirlooms - Harper's old longbow and quiver, Maera's silver inlaid harp and a dwarven battle axe given her by Brund Stonereaver. Whenever Maera visits Northinghall, for some inexplicable reason, Ulf's troll will detect her and come shuffling out of the smithy to follow her about (at a distance) until she leaves the town. Maera maintains a wing of the family lodge for visitors, including two spacious upper floor rooms reserved for the use of Alandar and Brund Stonereaver. The rooms are locked and unused when they are not there.



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